Onondaga County towns at odds with county over snowplow costs

“The county is absolutely prepared to plow those miles as of this week,” Millea said. “The roads will not go unplowed.”

After calculating costs incurred by plowing county roads, Manlius Town Supervisor Ed Theobald said the actual cost to some of the towns is much higher than the payment offered by the county.

“I would say they’re making money off the state and off the towns, which is really improper,” Theobald said. The state pays the county to plow state roads, as well.

The county comptroller issued a report in September stating it would be “disingenuous” for the county, or the towns, to profit off shared snowplowing services.

The amount the county offered, $6,335, was the “running average” of the county’s costs from previous years. Salt and gas are cheaper than last year and costs to plow the roads sits at about $6,200 for 2011-12.

“The $6,335 we offered follows very closely with our costs for the Onondaga County DOT,” Millea said.

The county had asked the towns that were not willing to agree to the amount offered to continue to plow the roads until Dec. 1. However, that request is now off the table.

“The towns that are backing out, they’re doing it because they don’t feel we are paying them enough,” Millea said. “If we can plow for $6,200, it’s better for the county to pay for those roads to be done, than to have the towns do it at a cost of $12,000. We need to spend more time analyzing their costs and find out what is a fair representation.”

DeWitt has not decided if they will plow after Dec. 1.

“We haven’t rejected it but we are still in conversation,” said DeWitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko said. “We have agreed to plow the roads for the next 30 days if the county would [compensate] us and pay us at the old rates. The snow hasn’t actually fallen yet and there is still time to get out and negotiate.”

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